Whittier, CA – Los Nietos elementary students have left school with brighter smiles over the past month after receiving free dental screenings through a partnership with Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine.
Transitional kindergarteners and kindergarteners throughout the District were examined on April 27 while Aeolian Elementary School students in first through third grades got their checkups on May 18 as the District continues its emphasis on student health.
The schools were visited by two dentists and a dental hygienist through the Western University of Health Sciences’ Children’s Dental Care Project (CDCP), which offers preventative and comprehensive dental services to children.
“Many of our students don’t have access to a dentist, and they often come into the health office with toothaches,” Rancho Santa Gertrudes Health Clerk Teresa De La Mora said. “I call their parents to say a visit to the dentist is needed, then I have them gargle with warm water and salt, but that’s all I can do.”
During the exam, dentists applied a fluoride varnish which strengthens enamel and helps prevent cavities. Students were allowed to hold dental instruments while the hygienist worked to make the consultation engaging and interactive and to reduce anxiety.
Dental health reports were sent home with each student to indicate if any follow-up work was required. A list of local dentists was provided for those needing more treatment.
This is the first academic year Los Nietos District partnered with Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine. Next year, the District plans to provide all grade levels at the three elementary schools with dental screenings.
“The College of Dental Medicine has worked with different school districts since 2013, with the overall goal to help students and their families find a regular dentist so that all oral health needs can be fulfilled,” said Luahana Ellner, grant project specialist from Western University of Health Services.
The dental care project is used as an educational platform to lower the risk of early childhood cavities and to promote overall public health. Dental students from the College of Dental Medicine are often sent to perform outreach screenings at schools throughout Los Angeles County.
“The partnership with Western University of Health Sciences is one of tremendous importance because it is another way to ensure our students receive all the necessary care to lead healthy and successful lives,” Superintendent Jonathan Vasquez said.
052517_LOSNIETOS_DENTAL1: Transitional kindergarteners and kindergarteners throughout the Los Nietos School District received free dental exams on April 27 as a part of the District’s partnership with Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine.
052517_LOSNIETOS_DENTAL2: The Los Nietos School District plans to provide students of all grades with free dental exams next school year as a part of the District’s partnership with Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine.